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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Exhibition of post-war Hungarian ceramics

Although my personal collection of pottery is made up primarily of West German and Italian pieces, I'm fascinated by the work of ceramists all over the world, so when I received this press release today, I wanted to share it, especially since so many readers of this blog are from the UK.

Press Release
Forma Hungarica
Post-war Hungarian Ceramics from the Graham Cooley Collection
Kings Lynn Arts Centre 2nd May –20th June 2015
29 King St, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1HA. Phone: 01553 779095

Design behind the Iron Curtain is a fascinating area of research. From 1945 to 1990 many great artists developed their work in isolation from the West. Interestingly, this also meant isolation from what we might call "accepted history," because most of these great practitioners have not recently been written about or exhibited. Rediscovery and reassessment is an essential part of progress in historical analysis. It is also the most enjoyable part of piecing together information about a new collection of historical objects.

The parallels between Hungarian ceramics and Czech glass are very strong. Exporting from the Comecon* countries was highly co-ordinated and controlled. Designer glass came from Czechoslovakia and designer ceramics from Hungary. There were accepted artists who could sell their work through the arts and crafts company “Iparművészeti Vállalat” or the state organised "Artex," and those promoted by the State were prolific in their time. The names of most of these artists have disappeared over time, so I hope that this exhibition will bring their work the exposure that it deserves.

The exhibition, a world first in this area, will feature over 40 objects from the Graham Cooley Collection. Gorka Geza (the great establishment figure) and Gorka Livia (his rebellious daughter, excluded from the academy) will be in the Fermoy Gallery. The main exhibition will be in the Shakespeare Barn, and period literature will be in the Red Barn. The exhibition catalog published by King's Lynn Arts Centre, with text commissioned by Peter Langh of the 567 Gallery in Budapest will be the first publication on the subject in English.

This marks the 5th fruitful collaboration between the collector and King's Lynn Arts Centre, and the exhibition promises to be both captivating and informative.

The main exhibition features the work of the following notable ceramic artists:

Gádor István | Gorka Géza | Kovács Margit | Gorka Lívia | Garányi József | Török János | Garányiné Staindl Katalin| Illés Sándor | Benkő Ilona | Janáky Viktor | Csekovszky Árpád | Bod Éva | Várdeák Ildikó | Hadamcsik Mária | Papp János | Pál Ferenc | Ferenczy Kati | Eschenbach Jenő

*Comecon, byname of Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), also called (from 1991) Organization for International Economic Cooperation, established in January 1949 to facilitate and coordinate the economic development of the eastern European countries belonging to the Soviet bloc


  1. Replies
    1. Aren't they beautiful? It's sad to think they've practically been relegated to non-history until now.